Wednesday , May 29 2024

Football changes lives – UEFA Foundation 2021/22 Activity Report!

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s latest activity report demonstrates how it works throughout the year to support children in need around the world, using football as a catalyst for change.

Last season was marked by great news for football in Europe and beyond: the end of strict health measures linked to the pandemic, the return of fans in the stands and a successful record-breaking UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. These happy occasions were, alas, clouded by the ongoing war in Ukraine, a rising energy crisis and extreme drought over the summer, affecting millions of children, who need our help more than ever.

The UEFA Foundation for Children uses the power of our beautiful sport as a driving force for positive and lasting change, raising awareness of issues affecting children and helping to make their lives better. Read the foundation’s latest activity report and learn more about the projects it supports.

Download the full report

Emergency assistance

The European football community, supported by the foundation, mobilised quickly to provide emergency relief to civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Tonnes of material were transported from Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and thousands of people were taken in and cared for, with local football clubs stepping up to help their communities.

This conflict should not, however, overshadow the many others of which so many children are the victims. The foundation therefore continues to support the best projects safeguarding the rights of children all over the world, whatever their origins.

Aleksander Čeferin, the UEFA foundation’s chairman and UEFA president, said, “This report brings hope, reflecting humanity’s ability to win through even in the most challenging times. I am genuinely proud of the reaction from the European football community, which, with our foundation’s support, quickly mobilised to provide emergency relief to civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The testimonies presented in the report will tell you a story of joy, love and hope that football brings to their lives. They also give us the strength and determination to keep fighting for them.”

Protecting minorities against discrimination

The 133 projects detailed in the report have helped 624,377 beneficiaries across all continents, promoting inclusion and hope and protecting minorities against all forms of discrimination.

The foundation gives the most vulnerable children a brighter outlook, using the beautiful game as an incentive for personal development and social cohesion. Supported projects are designed with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind, targeting key areas of action:

  • Access to sport
  • Personal development
  • Protection for children with disabilities
  • Protection for victims of conflicts
  • Gender equality
  • Employability
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Environmental protection
  • Strengthening partnerships
  • Infrastructure/equipment

Champions on and off the pitch

In 2022, more than 450 child beneficiaries of projects supported by the foundation were invited to attend one of the prestigious UEFA club competition finals, and 78 of them had the chance to act as player or referee mascots or ball carriers. The happy memories of this unique experience will no doubt remain with them for many years to come.

This year, the foundation also welcomed children with cerebral palsy at the UEFA Super Cup in Finland, giving them the opportunity to watch the world’s biggest stars in a spectacular season opener and raising awareness of disability football.

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